Cleaning Up Old Articles
Hey all, this is a little tidbit of what I'm up to right now. For those of you with lots of older articles it may be helpful too.
I've got a lot of old articles here that are not all that great. I'm litterally starting with the oldest ones and working my way current.
Back in the day keyword density filters weren't a part of the editorial process. I'm going into every article and improving density issues and replacing repetitive keywords with related words or phrases.
I'm also removing old broken links and adding picture(s) to every article. Every picture is going to be titled something that a person might type into the search engine. Something very long though. Instead of "permission marketing" I'll title the picture "What Does Permission Based Email Marketing Mean". I then add the picture to the article and make it big enough that it doesn't need to be clicked on but small enough that someone might want to click on it to enlarge it.
Once the picture is inserted I go back and edit the picture to add a short description. Almost like you would a very tiney 25-50 word "article". This puts unique content on the page and helps make the media page more SEO friendly and gives the ad bots more to work with.
I can then take this opportunity to place a single amazon module at the bottom pointing to something related and alter the title of the article to target a more specific keyword. Soemthign more long tail. Instead of "Maintain Healthy Cholesterol Levels" I can update the title to something like: "What Can You Do To Maintain Healthy Blood Cholesterol Levels". Better ehh?
Interestingly enough I find it far easier to improve an older article than I do to write a new one from scratch and since a lot of my older articles are noindexed, nofollowed anyway it's kind of like I have a bunch of free articles just sitting there ready for me to publish for the first time.
In time I'm going to start pinning related pictures from related articles onto my new Pinterest account so that they can start generating a trickle of traffic from that network and slowly revive an old dirty IB portfolio.
In fact I've already started doing just that. You can see an example of this on my fresh Replacement Dresser Drawer Handle Pinterest board that I started just this past afternoon. Already got 32 pins on it and counting. :)
Let me know what you guys think about my strategy... and let me know what else you think I should be doing.
That is an excellent strategy. I am also going to do the same thing. Changing the titles is a great idea particularly if the articles are no longer indexed/have a poor ranking on the search engine results.
Adding images and Amazon modules is a smart move as well. I recently read an article that stated that contextual Amazon links are quite effective. I have noticed "Economist" adds Amazon contextual links to articles. Maybe "Economist" could provide feedback on their effectiveness?
@ chezfat: When I'm uploading images, I always put in some info in that big comments box just below the attribution box. I put in extended attributions, other sources, pertinent URLs, copyright info, and/or the type of license allowed by the image, but these things just disappear when the article goes live. InfoBarrel just displays the standard "This image is originally part of the article..." I looked at one of your images and there it was, a short description and an Amazon link to boot. I'm not looking to put in any Amazon ads, I just want to put in info to meet certain requirements (some usage rights require a link to the original source, for example). So, how do you do it, man? (I've already tried loading the image first, then edit, and then put in the info, but that didn't work as well. I'm going to try this again once I get preapproval.)
There does seem to be a bug where the description isn't being saved when the image is uploaded. I edit the image afterwards to add it. I can't remember if I've tried in Chrome to see if it works properly there.
I've been updating all of my old articles, too, and I have noticed that this has been increasing their views and earnings. I add Amazon ads to each one as I improve it, too. It's a slow process, but less work than writing new articles. As you say, this is like having an old, unusued product, spiffing it up and making it more appealing to readers.
Great ideas, Chezfat!
Things are a bit different now than they were 2-3 years ago - it's a bit easier now actually.
When you upload the image give it a title and then hit the upload the image button.
Then place your curser in the text module where you want the picture to go and hit the insert image button. You can then resize the image or align it within the text however you want it.
Years ago you had to manually go into the HTML to link it to it's media page but now IB does this step for you automatically.
Once the picture is inserted you can then go back to the image tab and find the image you just uploaded and hit the edit button. From there you can add your text description of the image. These day's I do these a lot like a mini 50 word article. If my image is titled "What Are Healthy LDL Cholesterol Levels In Adults" like this one I did last night then my text supports the title both describing the picture and answering the question. It's a like a bookmark style article adding unique content to a media page. This helps us and any reader who stumbles on the page.
Interestingly enough if you can get some good text on these pages then there's no reason that they can't be found in search just like your regular articles. Of course you can't have a media page without attaching the media to an existing article so you do have to have both.
For me I've got as ton of old articles that have no media pages attached to them at all. This is a wealth of content that can be improved somewhat easily... you know, so long as I actually do it. Last night over the course of an hour or so I updated 5 articles adding somewhere around 7 media pages and deleing a few dead links. I also cleaned up keyword density and grammatical errors. Today lets see how many I get through.
I might try doing most of that too. I could take out all the Amazon modules, since I cannot be paid on them anymore due to the stupid A**es in the state government of Missouri.
I have been doing this for a while. It really helps, as how your article ranks is much different now than it was a few years ago. Like Deb, my views and earnings have gone up on many of the articles that I have been updating.
I like your advice for the Amazon module!
One other thing that I am doing is using the Promediacorp free keyword suggestor for new keyword ideas on the topic. That helps me name the pinboards I am creating, as well as include new longtail keywords in headings and within the articloe itself.
When updating, be sure to click the "Save and Preview" button before you publish. It will tell you if your revised article is within the new keyword density guidelines.
Those are good tips. I'll start trying this out, too!
Awesome suggestions here. I usually do autosuggets manually - I don't like paying for things in most cases so that's a good link. A lot of the keywords I'm using for my newest BIG niche site I'm talking about over on my blog I found manually and that suggester found almost all of them in seconds. :) Can't beat free and fast.
Regarding Save & Preview, I don't know why I didn't think of that. I was just guessing if I made my targets and eventually publishing and going through editorial queue again. This might save me a bit of time and headache. :)
You people amaze me with all your ideas and knowledge about maximizing the reception of these stories. I need to do a bunch of articles before I try to do some of that. I'm too lazy right now. Lol! lol!
Wanted to up date you all on this.
This is slower going than I first expected. My articles for 2009 & 2010 are genuinely terrible! Ha!
It takes me a while to fix formatting problems and a ton of time correcting my huge keyword density problems from back then. Remember, back in 2009 & 2010 density wasn't a big deal at all. Now I regret it.
Anyway, I've updated roughly 20 old articles bringing them up from red to yellow and green for the most part. I've added some pictures to all of them and an amazon element to some of them.
Cool stat, of the pins I've added 4 of them have sent me referral traffic to my articles already. Not a lot but some. I've got 6 new page views from pinterest pins that I wouldn't have had otherwise. :)
Also, looking into my analytics I see that 2.5% of all my page views here come from Pinterest and I haven't ever pinned a single article until about 2 weeks ago. I be I can get that number a lot higher by adding lots more pictures and pinning them.
Another cool thing about doing this is I'm deleting a bunch of links I made in a lot of early articles that pointed at some of my earliest publications on ehow and goarticles, both of which accounts no longer exist. Dead links be gone.
I know there are lots of new writers here that don't have hundred of articles in your library built up yet but trust me on this. Just keep publishing, keep your articles green, add at least two pictures to each article, pin each picture to Pinterest, and interlink your articles. Traffic growth will happen and earnings will start growing.
In December I made a bit over $150 here on IB (http://www.infobarrel.com/forum-topic.php?id=11252), down from over $1000 two years prior. I'm curious to see if I can revive this income stream and how long it takes.
I'm doing the same. Finished two pages of content and working on the third. Some of us are holdovers from the early days, when Google wasn't as smart as it is now, and you pretty much had to literally insert your keyword almost every third word so the search engines could figure out what your article was about! I'm adding Amazon modules to every article, adding videos where I find good ones, and editing all the media pages now that IB has made it easier. All but three of my articles are now in the green, and even the three in the yellow have improved their scores (I have no idea how to improve my article on SeeClickFix any more, as I've added two images, an Amazon module and a video to it, and I can't think of anything else to write about the website). Once I finish editing and upgrading my media library I will probably start adding new content again.
A good internal IB link to another article could help, but truthfully the biggest thing affecting the score is likely the external links, which tend be be a negative factor - and also the point of the article. Other than that, likes, comments and traffic.
Well, the point of that article is to empower people to improve their surroundings by calling attention to problems directly to their local government, so I can't understand why that would be a problem, and two external links to the free-to-use website which accomplishes that, one at the beginning of the article, and another at the end, seem reasonable.
I think any external link in the body of an article automatically drops the score - it doesn't matter where the link goes to, just the fact that it leaves InfoBarrel.
Past a certain point it can be counterproductive to try and improve an article's score.
Looks like something I'll need to keep in mind for the future. Only thing is that by that time things will have probably changed again and there will be a new way!
The new way will always be diversification of traffic sources and an emphasis on quality writing. Back when I started here keyword stuffing and crap lnk building is all it took. In the future everyone wants good stuff. You can't go wrong with publishing good stuff and you can't go wrong sharing your stuff socially. I resisted this for far too long.
As for ranking that's another story all togther but that's why these days I like writing stuff that people search for and looking for ways to start building alternative referral sources at the same time.